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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

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Pope St. Damasus

Isaiah 40:1-11
Psalm 96
Matthew 18:12-14

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lost and found

"One of them wanders away." —Matthew 18:12

The weather was frigid and the snow was blowing. It was our first day in Cincinnati after moving hundreds of miles to join Presentation Ministries. Once the moving van was unpacked, I headed to the community gathering several miles away to join my family, only to discover that my two oldest boys had wandered away (Mt 18:12). Accompanied by some blessed brothers in Christ who knew the area, I left my family to "go in search of the" missing boys (Mt 18:12). In the urgency of that moment, I glimpsed the heart of Jesus for the lost. Thanks be to God, we found the boys several miles away, safe but very cold. Rejoicing at this find (Lk 15:6), I recalled the words of Jesus: "Believe Me, I am happier about finding these lost ones than about the ones left behind in safety" (see Mt 18:13).

"The Son of Man has come to search out and save what was lost" (Lk 19:10). Each soul is precious to Him (Is 43:4). He has a plan for every person (Heb 11:40). Until each person is safely living in Him (Rm 6:11), He searches for them with an urgency and love infinitely greater than my parental vigil. When He finds them and brings them to the safety of new life in Him, His rejoicing is so great that all heaven breaks loose (Lk 15:7, 10).

Give Jesus a present for His Christmas birthday. Ask Him to give you His heart for at least two people who are lost. Then go with His heart and try to lead them home to Jesus. Seventeen years later, my two wandering boys are seminarians. Who knows what God might do with the lost, wandering people You restore to Him?

Prayer:  Thank You, Jesus, for revealing to us what pleases You (Bar 4:4). May we spend our lives making You rejoice.

Promise:  "The word of our God stands forever." —Is 40:8

Praise:  St. Damasus called three councils to fight against heresy.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 30, 2007

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